League leaders Apoel were victorious in the top-of-the-table clash against AEL on Monday, winning 3-0 and moving six points clear at the top.
Apoel’s coach Thomas Christiansen made five changes to the team that had lost narrowly to Athletico Bilbao last Thursday and in the first half hour it seemed that Christiansen’s gamble was not working. AEL were the better side even though they failed to create any openings.
Once Apoel took the lead in 34th minute with a Vinicius header the Nicosia team gained confidence and took control of the game.
By the second half the league leaders were in complete control and despite determined efforts by AEL players, they were unable to break down Apoel’s backline.
AEL started throwing more players forward to equalise but this left them vulnerable at the back and Igor de Camargo should have doubled the score with a clean through on goal but the shot went wastefully wide.
Apoel did manage to double the score in the 78th minute when a poor backpass by Lafrance allowed Vander to race on goal which he unselfishly squared to Nuno Morais who tapped the ball into an empty net.
The icing on the cake came in added time when AEL’s keeper Romo upended de Camargo in the penalty box and from the subsequent penalty de Camargo sent Romo the wrong way for the third.
It was a harsh scoreline for the Limassol team but it a deserved victory for Apoel.